Boy bounces back after open heart surgery saved his life at just eight days old

A petrified mother recalled feeling “numb and robotic” as her newborn son underwent open-heart surgery at the height of the pandemic.

George Estelle was born with a condition called transposition of the great arteries (TGA), which means that the main arteries in his heart ran the wrong way.

Mum and dad, Keren and Chris, were told about their son’s condition during their 20-week check-up, meaning he failed to produce oxygenated blood after he was born, YorkshireLive reports.

Now 18 months old, George was born at the height of the Covid pandemic in July 2020. Immediately after birth, he underwent a septostomy – a procedure in which doctors placed a catheter between the hole in his heart.

Then, at just eight days old, George underwent surgery at Leeds Congenital Heart Unit to swap the main arteries in his heart.

Keren, from Kirkheaton, near Huddersfield, said: “I will never forget the feelings I had accompanying George to the theatre. I felt numb and robotic, but inside I was petrified.”

Keren then recalled a beautiful message she received from a doctor as she left the room.

“One of them said to me, ‘we’re going to take care of him as if he were our own’. It meant the world to me that day and that’s exactly what they did. “

Keren Estelle with husband Chris, son George and daughter Connie

George’s has made “incredible progress” since the operation.

“Of all heart diseases, we’re very lucky that TGA is curable,” Keren said. “George is amazing, he will have an annual check-up but they are very happy with his progress – he has bounced back at an incredible rate.

“I had three miscarriages before George and when we were told he was in bad shape it was devastating – but he was meant to be and he’s perfect.”

Keren shared George’s story to mark the tenth anniversary of ‘Wear Red Day’ – a flagship fundraising event organized by the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF).

“Wear Red Day is a way to raise awareness about congenital heart disease. We will be eternally grateful and will do whatever we can. We know we can never refund what we have received.

Wear Red Day was founded by Carmen Greene and her sister Emma Emmerson. They launched the campaign to raise vital funds in 2012 when Carmen’s five-year-old son Ciaran was diagnosed with congenital heart disease and was awaiting open-heart surgery. .

The annual Wear Red Day event has since raised over £330,000. Donations can be made by texting CHSFWRD (plus any amount up to £20) to 70085.

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